Salman Aslam

Candid Schmooze

24TH Corps Commander's Open Golf Championship 12-15 March 2015

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This time the event was unique and epoch making. The championship was upgraded for the first time to open category after 23 years. Professionals entered the event in droves and prize money was phenomenal. It was a grand finale to the golfing calendar of 2014-15 for LGG&CC. The atmosphere was stunning and awesome. The entire cantonment was adorned, embellished and bedecked with massive posters. Club itself was emblazoned and gave an aura of festivity and carnival like ambiance. The razzle–dazzles and hustle bustle really was staggering. The entire event was programmed with clock like precision. Souvenir’s and mementos were generous which exhibited the extravaganza of the sponsors. Golf aficionados and connoisseurs really had a bash. Newly laid alfresco barbecue garden with its mouth-watering dishes was a treat for the gluttons and epicurean alike.

Taking a cue from previous matches tourney was held over 4 days. Thus the clogging of tee timings was avoided. Pace of play was swift with no hold ups. Procedure at par 3 call holes was stringently observed. There were no hiccups and snags. Special events for junior golfers were also staged to bolster golf amongst the young aspirants. Talent hunt needs to be geared.

Coming on to the event 1st day was earmarked for senior amateurs, veteran and senior pros. This also included subsidiary match. Professional vying for the coveted Corps Commander Cup battled it out ferociously on days 2nd to fourth. The champions of yester years still showed glimpses of versatility and prowess. Abdul Hameed clinched honours by shooting 74 eclipsing by a stroke from Asghar Ali of Gymkhana. Senior amateur’s category was another gruelling event where amateurs who dominated the last decade grappled. Mostly comprising age bracket 60-69 (sexagenarian) Tariq Mahmood again stole the honours by carding gross 73 4 strokes clear of nearest rival Asif Mehdi. Net winner was Abdul Haseeb.

The veterans in age bracket of septuagenarians and few octogenarians like Brigadier Soofi played scintillating golf. Ladies entries were dismal. Leading lady golfers were missing. Ana James Gill led from the start 8 clear of her nearest challenger with gross 188. Shazadi Gulfam trailed in at second place. Finally a glittering field of professionals scrambled for top honours and the prestigious Corps Commander Cup. 40 professionals made the cut. Shabbir again in his elusive style opened the proceedings on day 1 with a lowest score of 66. Matloob his arch rival breathing down his neck.

Scoring on the 2nd day was exceptionally high. Matloob and Khurshid playing sub-par rounds dominated the proceedings. On the third day this trio broke away from the chasing pack. Shabbir scored a mercurial round of 67 four clear of Matloob with gross aggregate of 207. Rest of the field crumpled, wilted and faltered under duress. Scores were appalling. Shabbir again gave a stunning display of his repertoire in all facets of the game. His booming drives split the fairway. His forte the power fades. Iron shots to greens in regulation were mesmerising. Deftness and touch around the green was magical. Wedge play and flops made him scramble pars. Sand saves also enabled him to shoot sub-par rounds.

The chief guest on the prize presentation ceremony was former Corps Commander Lieutenant General Khalid Maqbool (Retired). Prizes were up for grabs. Sponsors showed ample generosity by showering plethora of prizes. Coveted Corps Commander Cup was awarded to Shabbir Iqbal.

Finally accolades and praise for the management in holding the competition in ameticulous, painstaking and dexterous manner.

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posted by Salman Aslam @ 12:00 AM,

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